Will Donald Trump Visit Buckingham Palace? His UK Trip Won't Hit All The Top Stops
The president is set to visit the United Kingdom for the first time since his inauguration in 2017. For a head of state obsessed with image and being the best, will Donald Trump visit Buckingham Palace on his trip, the building most associated with the British monarchy?
It doesn't look like it. On Friday, the British government said there will be no state dinner at the famed palace. Instead, Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will meet Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle, according to NBC News. There's still no word on how many members of the royal family will be in attendance.
BBC said Trump's UK trip is a "working visit" as opposed to a state visit, which usually has a bit more pomp and circumstance. Trump's UK trip will be three days long, according to the Financial Times. Before he lands in the United Kingdom, Trump will attend at the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday and Thursday.
After Trump and Melania land in the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Theresa May is scheduled to host a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. (Blenheim Palace is Winston Churchill's birthplace.) The Financial Times reports that 150 business leaders will invited.
The couple will stay overnight at the Winfield House, which is the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom's residence. On Friday, May will accompany Trump to a "demonstration of military capability" by US and UK armed forces, according to CNBC.
Afterward, they will meet at Chequers, May's country residence in Buckinghamshire, for a "working lunch," the report continued. CNN reports that Trump will not visit Downing Street, where the residences and offices of elected officials are located.
Meeting Queen Elizabeth — even if not at Buckingham Palace — is a major event for Trump. "He’s a massive Anglophile and he’ll want to impress. It's going to be quite a moment for him, and I don't think he’s going to want to put a foot wrong," Camilla Tominey, political editor of The Sunday Express in the United Kingdom, told NBC News.
There are no official rules for meeting royals, but a set of customs is expected to be followed. Trump's off-the-cuff nature could mean he'd break these expectations.
According the royal family's official website, after being presented to the queen, men should bow from the neck while woman should perform a small curtsy. A handshake is also acceptable. The correct address for Queen Elizabeth is "Your Majesty" and afterward, "ma'am." The other members of the royal family should be addressed first at "Your Royal Highness" and then "sir" or "ma'am," depending on their gender.
Trump's first visit to the United Kingdom was supposed to be in 2017, but that Trump's visit was cancelled after Trump retweeted several anti-Muslim videos from a British far-right group after a terrorist attack.
Trump's schedule will keep him away from areas where massive protests are possible — he's only staying in London overnight. Despite the fact that Trump won't be around London to see the protesters, CNN reports that a large "Trump Baby" balloon wil be inflated and flown near the UK Parliament during his visit.
It was announced Thursday that London Mayor Sadiq Khan OK'd the 19-foot-high orange balloon after more than 10,000 people signed a petition for the ballon and and nearly 2,000 people contributed to a crowdfunding campaign for the "Trump Baby" balloon. The campaign has almost reached its £30,000 goal.
"The Mayor supports the right to peaceful protest and understands that this can take many different forms. His city operations team have met with the organizers and have given them permission to use Parliament Square Garden as a grounding point for the blimp," Khan's spokesperson said in a statement.
Parliament Square is about a 15-minute walk from Buckingham Palace. But even if Trump avoids both locations, he's sure to see the protests at some point.